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Saturday, January 1, 2011
As you can see from reading my blog I mainly collect baseball prospects. I'm not much for cards from other sports, although I do dabble in hockey from time to time. I've thought about the cards that I want to purchase in the new year and I break them up into two categories, prospects and Hall of Famers.
I'm not much for vintage cards, but the thought of diversifying my collection is appealing. The problem I have with prospecting is the wait for return on investment. Granted, a player doesn't have to make the majors in order for you to turn a profit. I've sold plenty of prospect cards at a profit when a players moves from AA to AAA. The issue I have is that prospects are kind of like taking out a 2-year CD at the bank, the money is tied up and can't be touched. What if I come across a really great deal and need to come up with some cash quickly? I'd be selling off prospects at the expense of future earnings to purchase more prospect cards that are going to sit and wait for future earnings.
My 2011 collecting/investing goals now include vintage cards. I really think there are some deals to be had on vintage right now, especially with some of the bigger names. I'm doing this as an investment and a way to get that quick cash that I spoke of before if a great deal comes along.
1955 Topps Roberto Clemente - I had a chance to purchase one of these when I was a kid and didn't do it. For Pirates fans, this is the holy grail of baseball cards. A PSA 3.5 recently sold for $400.
1954 Topps Hank Aaron - The true home king. Did you know that you can pick up a PSA 3 of his rookie for around $400? Absolutely crazy.
1963 Topps Pete Rose - The hit king, another record that will probably never be broken. You can pick up a PSA 5 in the $400 range.
1980 Topps Rickey Henderson PSA 9 - The PSA 10 is a little to rich for me right now. The PSA 9 hangs out between $175-$200. That's a bargain in my eyes considering he owns a record that will never be broken.
There are too many cards available to list individual cards. I'll go the route of just naming players, in no particular order, that I'll be prospecting in the next few months before prices really start to rise.
Friday, December 31, 2010
Picking my #1 purchase of the year was the easiest card to select in this list. It really wasn't even close. Brett Anderson is by far the main player that I collect. My collection consists of mostly rookie cards from 2007, but I'm always looking for anything rare of his. Right now I'm working on his 2009 SP Authentic By the Name set. I currently have four of the eight letters. I'm always looking for low numbered inserts and parallels of his as well.
Anderson was drafted in the second round of the 2006 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was traded to the A's in 2007 as part of the Dan Haren trade. Anderson made his major league debut in 2009 and didn't disappoint. He went 11-11 with a 4.06 ERA and 150 strikeouts with only 45 walks. He struggled with elbow injuries last year and only made 19 starts. When he started, he was dominant. He went 7-6 with a 2.80 ERA and 75 strikeouts with only 22 walks. His slider is his top pitch. It's a beautiful thing to see him drop that slider on the back foot of a right handed batter for the third strike.
The card pictured is his 2007 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Gold Status Autograph graded BGS 9.5 gem mint. Only five of these cards exist. I purchased this raw on eBay taking a chance that the condition was as good as the seller said it was. It turned out to be an accurate description as it came back a gem from BGS. I was thrilled to just own the card, having it grade so high was icing on the cake.
I'm hopeful that Anderson can stay healthy in 2011 and show everyone that he is one of the elite left handed pitchers in the game.
I know, here we go again with the Pirates. I told you when this all started that it would be obvious who my favorite team is by the end of this countdown. I can also reveal that Andrew McCutchen is my favorite Pirate. He plays the game hard and with a smile on his face. There's nothing to not like about this guy.
The Pirates selected McCutchen with the 11th pick in the first round of the 2005 MLB Draft. McCutchen finally joined the Bucs in 2009 and immediately made a huge impact. He finished fourth in the ROY voting, too low if you ask me. He's batted .286 each of his two seasons. Last year he eclipsed 30 stolen bases (33) and continued to be one of the best centerfielders in baseball.
The card pictured is his 2005 Bowman Sterling Autographed Jersey rookie graded BGS 9.5 gem mint. This card will the void in my McCutchen collection until I get one of his 2005 Topps Chrome Update Autographs.
The nice thing about collecting Pirates prospects is that their cards are always cheap. If McCutchen played for the Yankees or Red Sox you'd never be able to pick up his cards at their current levels. The bad thing about being a Pirates fan is that McCutchen could end up on the Yankees or Red Sox when he becomes a free agent. Such is life.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
This card may look familiar to those of you that read the blog regularly as I just picked this card up within the last two weeks. As I've already stated, I'm a Pittsburgh Pirates fan. I started my Jameson Taillon collection the minute the Pirates drafted him #2 overall in the 2010 MLB Draft. The Pirates haven't had a pitcher with this kind of talent in their system in a long time.
The card pictured is his 2009 Upper Deck USA Red Autograph numbered to 25. I try to pick one of these up for every prospect that I'm investing in. I know a lot of collectors/prospectors stop buying Upper Deck USA cards as soon as a Bowman card is produced of the player their collecting/prospecting. I continue to buy the USA because the prices on the base autographs drop significantly. Give me an autographed USA card over a chrome refractor any day of the week. The fact is, if the player becomes a star, the USA cards are going to rocket back up in value.
Baseball America doesn't release their Pirates Top 10 Prospects until January 12th. I'm guessing that Taillon will top the list. From all indications the sky is the limit for this kid and I can't wait to track his progress in 2011.
Grant Green immediately became one of my prospect targets when he returned a TTM request I sent to him at USC. Any modern player that signs through the mail is alright in my book.
Baseball America recently rated Green the #1 prospect in the A's organization. That bodes well for my ever-growing collection of his cards. He'll start 2011 in AA and work his way up to AAA at some point. He's projected to be playing shortstop for the A's sometime in 2012. Green's bat is there and consistent, the concern is his fielding. His arm is on the fringe to play shortstop in the majors.
For every prospect I collect, I always try to land a Donruss Elite Extra Edition Status Autograph numbered to 5. They're obviously very hard to find, but I've been successful with a couple of the players I collect. This is another one of those cards that I saw on eBay and knew that I had to win, no matter what the price ended at. The price, if I recall, was somewhere in the $65 range, a bargain in my opinion.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
This is another card that I knew I had to own when it hit eBay. I'd been looking for the 2006 Christian Colon Aflac regular version for a long time. I'd already picked up the promo version a while back. I couldn't believe my luck when the first one I ever saw was graded a PSA 10 gem mint. I really couldn't believe my luck when another one showed up on eBay just weeks later. I obviously bought both of them.
Colon is one of the players that I've been collecting for almost a year. I've amassed a huge collection of his Upper Deck USA autographed and memorabilia cards. I also picked up a nice stash of his 2010 Bowman Chrome USA cards.
The Royals took Colon with the 4th overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft out of Cal State Fullerton and quickly signed him for slot money. Colon got some good experience under his belt by signing quickly which should get him to AA this year, well ahead of his fellow first round picks. If all goes as planned, Colon could be the Royals stating shortstop in 2012. Their system is loaded with talent that will be arriving from 2011-2013. The Royals are poised to have a really good team for a 4-5 year span if they play their cards right.
I couldn't resist inserting a tiny rant about Topps before closing this post. Topps claims that only 250 of each Aflac regular version exist. This card absolutely proves that number isn't correct. Colon was part of the Debut Cuts set in 2010 Topps Pro Debut Baseball. That set used cut autographs from 2006 Aflac regular version cards and the Colon was numbered to 200. 2010 Bowman Draft also included Colon in the Aflac buyback autographs. Understandably, the Colon is low numbered (/49) because they used up a lot of them in the Pro Debut Cuts set. That adds up to 249 of these cards that Topps has released in their 2010 products. I obviously own two of these so that puts us up to 251. If you search eBay you'll find a couple more out there, putting us up to 253. How many were produced? Who knows. I know one thing, it's still a very rare card and I'm excited to have two gem mint copies in my collection.